16 SES 02 A, ICT and Pedagogical Practice
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools is an integral and required part of the curriculum, intended to facilitate the transition of IB students from school to higher education and on to the globalised workplace. Consequently, curriculum documents outline expectations for ICT use amongst IB teachers and students, but how do IB teachers and students actually use technology in the classroom? Are those pedagogical practices in line with the approaches to learning enshrined in the IB, such as the emphases on inquiry and the ability to think creatively and independently? And, when ICT is integrated into the classroom, how far is that integration guided by particular perspectives on learning and pedagogy? This paper reports on a mixed-methods project investigating the integration of technology in the science and mathematics Diploma Programme in IB World Schools. Whilst the focus of this project was schools in England, Scotland and Wales, the international nature of IB World Schools suggests that the findings have implications for the 413 IB schools across Europe, and for other educational institutions in the continent and beyond.
Existing approaches to understanding how technology enhanced learning impacts on teaching and learning tend to fall into two camps: 1) large scale surveys (e.g., Biagi and Loi, 2013) which tend to show that effects of technology innovation in schools are relatively limited and therefore can be attributed to the extent to which the technology is adopted, rather than its effectiveness in a particular institution; and 2) numerous small studies of controlled learning comparisons involving ‘technology present’ and ‘technology absent’ conditions, often under laboratory conditions (e.g., Hartley, 2007; Kulik, 2003; Liao, 2007; Sitzmann, Kraiger, Stewart and Wisher, 2006) The problem is that comparisons of technology absent or present are not an effective way to test the impact of technology (Clark, 1983) and, as such, there is perhaps only limited value to be gained by conducting and then synthesizing them.
Consequently, the methods we adopted for the present project were designed to highlight the complex relationship between technologies-in-context and learning and teaching pedagogies, and thereby to capture more clearly the relationship between effective curricular innovation with technology and how this relates to teaching and learning practices.
The main tenet underpinning this research project is that technology for use in educational contexts is fast developing in quantity and quality; because of this, pedagogy must remain at the forefront of the minds of those with a stake in driving technological developments. Commensurate with this belief, the conceptual framework adopted for the present study, allowed the research team to understand learning with technology by distinguishing amongst different forms of learning that the technology supports. The framework enabled analysis of the pedagogies of technology use expressed in terms of eight ‘acts of learning’ (Luckin, Blight, Manches, Ainsworth, Noss & Crook, 2012):
• Learning through inquiry
• Learning from experts
• Learning with others
• Learning through making
• Learning through exploring
• Learning through practising
• Learning from assessment
• Learning in and across settings
The research study aimed to explore and map the context of technology integration in the DP sciences and mathematics courses in UK schools and to identify examples of good practice of technologies-in-context. These aims were addressed through the following research questions:
a) How do IB DP schools plan for, and implement, the integration of technology into the science and mathematics curriculums?
b) What types of teaching and learning activities occur around and through technology in DP science and mathematics courses?
c) How do DP teachers and students in the case study schools use technology in the classroom?
Biagi, F. & Loi, M. (2013) Measuring ICT use and learning outcomes: Evidence from recent econometric studies. European Journal of Education, 48, 28–42. Clark, R. E. (1983) Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459. Hartley, J. (2007) Teaching, learning and new technology: A review for teachers. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(1), 42–62. Luckin, R., Blight, B., Manches, A., Ainsworth, S., Noss, R., & Crook, C. (2012) Decoding Learning: The proof, the promise and the potential of digital education. London: Nesta. Kulik, J. (2003) Effects of using instructional technology in elementary and secondary schools: What controlled evaluation studies say. Arlington, VA: SRI International. Retrieved October 3, 2003, from http://www.sri.com/policy/csted/ reports/sandt/it/Kulik_ITi nK- 12_Main_Report.pdf. Liao, Y. C. (2007) Effects of computer-assisted instruction on students’ achievement in Taiwan: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education 48, 216–233 Sitzmann, T., Kraiger, K., Stewart, D., & Wisher, R. (2006) The comparative effectiveness of Web-based and classroom instruction: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 59, 623-664.
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